|Johnnie, oh Johnnie JACKSON scores free-kicks for me...|
Sheffield United started as the team in the ascendancy, creating a couple of chances. But Charlton won a free-kick after 20 minutes, in a similar position to where Jackson scored against the Wendies last week. He and Kermorgant shaped up to strike it, but it was Jackson who shot, hitting the top left corner this time. In off the post, what a brilliant goal it was! Charlton then had most of the rest of the half, playing some lovely free-flowing football, but United still posed a threat on the break. United had a goal disallowed for a four-player gang-block on Hamer.
The second half was not a classic by any means. Danny Green had two early shots, both fizzed towards goal and saved by the keeper. But it was mainly a defensive-minded Charlton performance, absorbing the pressure United applied. Hamer made a huge error, spilling a catch from a corner, then chasing the player and getting beaten, only for the ball to be fired over the bar. A big let-off that was. Russell was brought on to play in central midfield. In a passage of play where tackles were flying in and nobody could control possession, Russell lunged in (one-footed), getting the ball. Referee Darren Deadman (appropriately named) decided that it warranted a straight red, causing a mass brawl, and fortunately for the home side, a red for James Beattie. A picture on twitter shows him strangling Kermorgant. Justice, then. (Here is an image of it: https://twitter.com/#!/MiserableOlGit/status/160806050667315200/photo/1) We managed to cling on thanks to some great defending, though by that late in the game neither side was playing anywhere near as well as in the first half. Charlton took the three points, moving seven clear at the top.
Season-defining match: Yes it was. It would take a catastrophic run from here for us not to get promoted. The recent results have proved this team has the belief to win any game, and they are proving all the doubters wrong.
|CP celebrates after the final whistle|
This brings me onto Chris Powell. What a manager we have. Not only is he a great manager, but the nicest bloke in football, possibly even the world. Today might not have been the finest example of passing football, but it was the result that mattered. Powell has instilled in his players the belief that they need to keep winning matches. Not only that, but he has made some inspirational signings, and manages to bring the best out of players. But most of all, it is because of him that we are all in love with this club again. He is this club. He represents us all so fantastically, and certainly knows how to celebrate after the final whistle! He, and all of the crowd, were absolutely loving it as he walked off. Two tunnel-jumps and wondrous chants of "Chrissy Powell's Red Army" made it a really special moment. He has brought our Charlton back, and for that, we owe him everything.
Chris Powell is our Lord: The true heir to Curbs.
Seven points clear at the top, with a game in hand. This has to be our year. Cheers to all the supporters today, you were fantastic. In Powell we trust!